CLINTON TOWNSHIP/FRASER — A Clinton Township teen who ran away from home was found nine days later, and he and his mother are thanking local community members for banding together to look for him.
On Friday, Nov. 16, Dakota “Cody” Strine, 15, took out the trash and decided to run away. A search effort garnered participants and attention from across the metro Detroit area after the youth’s disappearance was reported by Detroit TV channels, radio stations and newspapers.
“I appreciate the help,” said Strine, a Fraser High School ninth-grader who was found Nov. 25. “I’m sorry for making them do this.”
His mother, Kelly Rowland, 39, said the organized search effort on Nov. 24 to find her son included more than 100 people from around Macomb County, going from door-to-door and business-to-business, searching for the teen and passing out about 2,500 flyers.
“I am very relieved that he is home and safe,” Rowland said. “I’m so grateful for all the support and help we received. There aren’t even words to describe how I felt. Seriously, it was amazing how the community came together to help out.”
Rowland and her immediate family searched for the teen throughout the time he was missing, she said. After she posted a note on Facebook, word spread quickly online.
Clinton Township police detectives had no reason to suspect that Strine had been abducted or was in danger, since he had a history of running away, said Capt. Richard Maierle. However, the teen had always been found within an hour, Rowland said.
Rowland said it was ultimately a call from an anonymous tipster that led to police finding him unharmed at the home of a friend-of-a-friend. He had reportedly been sleeping in an abandoned house at night and staying at a friend’s house during the day, she said.
Rowland said the teen said he ran away because he was sick of rules. He has an emotional impairment, she said.
The family is working with therapy professionals, and things are changing for the better, she said.
“There are no words to express how grateful that his guardian and I were with all the support and all the help we received,” Rowland added.